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The Cham Pain Interview

Cham Pain, pictured with former valet Shari He's a former male exotic dancer from Las Vegas, NV, who traded in his g-string for the wrestling ring. He's been around the world twice, he's seen everything but the wind and been everywhere but the electric chair. He's driven through hell in a gasoline truck in reverse, wearing thermal underwear and a fur coat, with his hair on fire and hanging a sign out the window that says doing interviews for the Hardcore Fan Club…is pretty cool. But he hasn't really been around the world twice…he's been around the world three times, scared everybody but the devil, and he can do anything but have a baby. He's been to the north pole and he's sailed the seven seas, he's even eaten killer bees. He's been everywhere from Mount Airy to Montel, Sanford to Sally, but it don't matter cause once you get in the ring with him, he is the grand finale. And just in case you don’t remember the end of this little game, it goes first name Cham, last name Pain.

BS: Firstly, how did you get started in the business?

CP: I got started about six years ago at Mat and Jeff Hardy's house. They had an old trampoline with trees for posts and garden hoses for ropes. So we would go out there and have an arena made of plastic basically. There was black plastic all around about five foot high and it made a little semi-circle and myself, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Shannon Moore, we were all out there, videotaping these things, and that is how I got into it. Eventually from there we started doing fair shows where we had a better ring, but the middle of it was still a trampoline, it was a trampoline ring. Then we decided to build that into a hard ring, we made a hard ring, and started doing fair shows and it just started from there. We learned as we went, self-taught.

BS: You were undoubtedly one of the top guys in OMEGA, where you really evolved into Cham Pain, what are some of your memories from the run of OMEGA in the late 90s?

CP: If I'm not wrong, OMEGA started in the summer of 1997, we had run armory shows under a different name, New Frontier Wrestling Alliance, but when OMEGA hit, it was extreme. Matt had come up with the idea and the name Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, and I told Matt that maybe we could use the Greek letter for omega as our symbol, and he thought that was great. So we got all this stuff together and started running OMEGA and it just blew through the roof. Nobody knew what it was, there was so much talent there that was unseen, we didn't even know we had that much talent, but as you can see, most all the guys left and went somewhere big. It was just an incredible ride man, it only lasted three years, but it was incredible.

BS: During the run of OMEGA, along with Matt and Jeff, you did several spots on television for the WWF. At the time when they still did syndicated television, working with the likes of the Hart Foundation, and taking to this day what is still the stiffest looking pedigree I have ever seen from Hunter Hearst Helmsley, what are some of your memories of being around the WWF lockeroom at that time?

CP: Some of my memories now are stuff like being attacked by Owen Hart. I didn't really work Owen, he attacked me as I was working Anvil, along with British Bulldog, and then they threw me to the other side of the ring and Brian Pillman, who was commentating was beating me down also. Stuff like that when I look back means a lot when I can say 'Owen Hart was involved with me in a match' or 'Brian Pillman was involved with me in a match.' Ya know, guys that are dead now like Yokozuna too, it just means a lot to me that those guys took their time with me and got in there with a peon like I was at the time and gave me a shot on TV. It meant a lot to me and God rest all their souls that they're gone now, but I appreciate everything the WWF ever did for me.

Cham Pain as Puck Dupp squaring off against Chris Chetti from the ECW Arena in October 99 BS: You continued on in SCW, NDW, and the surrounding independents and went about becoming a part of the Dupp Family, you actually had a lot to do with the original Dupp concept, correct?

CP: Right, well, when the Dupps started, Otto Schwanz was one of the Dupps, Mike Maverick was one of the Dupps, I was one of the Dupps, and my girlfriend at the time, Shari Stewart was one of the Dupps. Mike came up with two names, Jack Dupp and Beau Dupp (later shortened to Bo Dupp). The way he came up with them was one day he was walking through the lockeroom at WWF television and Al Snow or someone like that said 'Boy don't you be coming in here all jacked up' and Mike thought that was a name, Jack Dupp and Beau Dupp, he was like 'Man, that's two gimmicks.' So he did this for about a year and finally I said 'Mike, let's make a gimmick out of this whole thing, the Dupp Family, I could be Puck Dupp, you could be Jack Dupp, Otto could be Bo Dupp, my girlfriend could be Mae Dupp.' We did a whole video shoot in Lizard Lick, NC with a bunch of rednecks, I was the little cousin who was the leader and chewed tobacco and drove great big trucks and the whole redneck gimmick. My "sister" Shari, she was beautiful and we all thought she was so ugly because she was so beautiful. So we cut that, had a TV crew come down for us, sent it to ECW, sent it to WCW, and Mike and myself personally delivered it to the WWF. ECW loved it, Tommy Dreamer said 'We watched that tape seven or eight times the day we got it. You all did not have a bit of wrestling on there but it was put together so well, we fucking loved it, we couldn't quit watching it, it's the best tape we've ever gotten up here.' He said 'That's why you guys have a shot up here, because of that tape.' So that's basically how it started and we went with it for a little while, and then Mike and Murray went on the bigger and better things in the WWF.

BS: Were there ever any intentions, not really promises that were made, but intentions that ECW had with the Dupp gimmick that never really were followed through on to your knowledge?

CP: Oh yeah, sure there were, we were only there a few months and the WWF was biting on Mike and Murray already, they saw them on TV two times and that was it. We did like three pay-per-views, but as soon as they saw them, they were gobbled up and we never really got to get into what we were going to do. We worked Kid Kash and Nova a lot, we worked Roadkill and Danny Doring a lot, stuff like that, but we didn't get to have a real big angle with anybody because they didn't have time to create it, they were starting to but things kinda fell apart. Right after they left, I was going to do a singles gimmick and I broke my foot in Baton Rouge, LA, so that kinda put a dapper on me for a while. Some bad luck happened and things kinda got shut down there and ECW is now shut down so, I guess everything happens for a reason, hopefully you'll see me again in a major promotion.

BS: Was there ever any intention of putting you in Simon Diamond's entourage, which was essentially a travelling band of misfits type gimmick, and using you in that capacity as Cham Pain?

CP: Yeah, I did a few shows with Lance (Lance Diamond, the former ring name of Simon Diamond) and I came out there as the pretty boy and Lance did his gimmick and we had all kinds of people out there. At different times, we'd have four or five people out there, and it was real funny, but we never really got to do a big angle because it got to be too much on me as a burden travelling. I drove 22 hours to a show one night, made 75 bucks, and had to drive 22 hours back. And I thought right then that the company was not doing what I wanted it to do for me, plus it was killing me financially, so I bowed out at a good time before the company went bankrupt. All the boys were not getting paid, it was rough for a while.

BS: From there, we work up to the big return at last year's Royal Pain in SCW, and from there joining a list of only three people who have held the SCW Heavyweight Championship three times. What are your thoughts on SCW as a promotion and on your work from the last year or so in Southern Championship Wrestling?

CP: I think SCW is a good promotion, but I think it could be a great one if they put more time in some sponsors and getting out there and getting the word out about the shows, they could have a great promotion. But it is good now and I appreciate working there, it is a lot of fun, they bring in some good talent, so that's good. It's not like some shows where you go there and you have to work some kid who has just started so naturally he's green and doesn't know what he is doing and you could get hurt, I would rather not do that.

BS: Towards the end of the company under the Time-Warner regime, you also spent some time in the WCW lockeroom, doing TV spots and such, what were your thoughts being pretty much an outsider, someone without a contract, in that lockeroom at what was a time of great internal turmoil for WCW?

CP: In WCW, all the guys were pretty nice to me, but you could tell the moods were different there than in the WWF, it was a different atmosphere there. I don't know if it was not as family-oriented as the WWF or what, but it just seemed so different. Maybe it was all the transition going on or the speculation that they were going to be bought or not knowing when that was going to happen, I don't know what it was, but it just seemed kinda weird ya know. I can't put my finger on it and everybody was real friendly to me and nice. They'd come up and shake your hand, and I'd shake their hand, but I dunno, I can't put my finger on it, but it was just real different.

Pain gets dumped off the top rope by Steve Corino at the OMEGA Reunion show last December -- photo credit to www.cham-pain.com BS: Now, with essentially one major promotion, where do you see the business heading?

CP: I think when Vince puts WCW back on their feet it is gonna be good, because you have to have a number two to be number one. If it's all one company then there's not gonna be any competition there. I am hoping that somebody else will start something up, they say Hulk Hogan is starting a promotion with Universal Studios, that could give them a run for their money. Maybe that will get pushed off the ground and give Vince a little competition because Vince needs competition to make things more interesting, which he loves to do, he loves competition.

BS: Three-time SCW Heavyweight Champion like I said, one of the driving forces behind OMEGA, I don't see how anyone could honestly dispute that you are the best talent on the independent circuit in this region at least, what is next for Cham Pain?

CP: Well, first of all I appreciate the compliment. I would like to see Cham Pain in a big promotion, ya know, WWF, WCW, same business. Or maybe Hulk Hogan's promotion, whatever comes up, I want to make the best of it, ya know, just give me a shot, put me on TV, give me an angle, let me show you what Cham Pain can do, and maybe I'll have a permanent home.

BS: To your knowledge, was there ever any indication given to you on why the WWF chose to pass on Puck Dupp when they picked up Mike and Murray?

CP: Not at all. One day Mike and Murray came in, and Mike and I had gotten into a little trouble on the road, we'd had a little altercation that turned into some fist-fighting and whatever, I don't know if that was the reason or not, but they came in one day at ECW and I said 'Where were you at yesterday?' and they said 'We were in Connecticut.' I said 'WWF?' and they said 'Yes, Titan Towers.' I said 'Are they picking you up?', and they said 'Yeah, they're picking us up.'…I said 'Picking *us* up or picking *you* up?' and they told me 'No, they're not picking you up.' So I basically just said 'Congratulations guys, good for you.'

BS: Now with Otto Schwanz back on the independent circuit and Mike Howell now just recently back on the independent circuit, are there any hard feelings there? CP: Well, Murray and I kinda went through some things and made up for some things we had gotten mad over, and I think Mike and I will be cool, they are both cool guys, and I don't have any hard feelings. Hopefully they don't have any towards me.

BS: A couple of months ago, when I interviewed Shannon Moore, he called you the "head socker" of the OMEGA crew, the hothead, if you will, do you think that is a fitting description?

CP: Not really, the reason they call me that is because basically I don't take any bullshit. You disrespect me, I'll punch ya teeth out. That is pretty much how it's gonna go. I will give you an opportunity and a chance, I will tell them 'Look, man, I am getting ready to sock your head', ya know, give them a warning, 'Look man, calm down.' But if they don't calm down and they disrespect me or do something out of the way to disrespect me, it's on. I'm sorry, that's just the way I am, you don't disrespect me, because I don't disrespect you.

BS: Any parting thoughts?

CP: Well, I'd just like to say to all the ladies out there, ya know, if you're home alone, got on your little negligee, sitting there getting kinda worked up to a lather, just remember this: all you need is a tall glass of Cham Pain.

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